Blog Posts on Richard Louv, _The Nature Principle_, Chapters 5-10

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10 thoughts on “Blog Posts on Richard Louv, _The Nature Principle_, Chapters 5-10

  1. ‘The Nature Principle’ by Richard Louv, right away grabs your attention to how nature can be considered ‘Reconnecting with Life in a virtual Age’. In chapter five entitled Re- naturing the psyche, starts of explaining how too often we try to find hope, relief, and meaning in medication and meditation. We need the restorative powers of nature if we want to gain life. People who work in jobs associated with nature are able to appreciate nature and recognize its tonic as the ultimate antidepressant. Three forms of nature to mental health that are pointed out are: proscribed therapy, environmental degradation of human psyche and spirit, and the restoration of nature. It not only improves self esteem and mood, but it goes on to show how where we live and the atmosphere can have a big impact on our mental health.
    Then in chapter 6, ‘The Deep Green High’, is a chapter that talks about wilderness being associated with health and peak experiences. We see how health isn’t just the absence of pain, but it goes as far as having physical, emotional, mental, intellectual, and spiritual fitness. The joy of being alive is about existing in nature. Whether that’s exercising in nature or just walking in the midst of a nice day out doors you experience a sort of calm. I agree with this because every time I am outside I feel this inner sense of peace that I don’t always feel inside.
    In Chapter 7, ‘The Nature Prescription’, is on spending more time in nature so that when you age it becomes easier to accept how old you have become. It gives you a new perspective and helps you cope with your mortality. This to me seems very accurate. The older you get the more you start to feel the effects. Studies have shown that a child who plays outside in the natural green space will reduce the chance of developing chronic diseases later in life. This just goes to show another example of the restorative powers of the out doors. Nature is the best prescription and I completely agree. When we dedicate our time to being outside the results are good.
    In chapter 8 ‘Searching for Your One True Place’, is on how living somewhere close to nature can have a positive affect on you. The opposite is true as well, when you live in the city far away from nature you tend to be more moody and don’t cope with things as well. I agree with this you want to live in a place that feels magical and calming to your soul. Nature is long term happiness. We need to take these precautions to adapt and be restored in nature.

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    • 5 points. Linda Hogan, whose “Dwellings” we read, has a good essay in the book of the same name on how the sweat lodge ceremony is all about recalibrating our inner spirit with the natural world (and beyond) after we have become too distanced from it by human life.

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  2. I believe the main idea of chapters 5-10 is about nature as therapy. Louv explains how nature is not a total replacement for forms of professional therapy, but it is a self-therapy. Though it cannot fully replace these practices it is a powerful tool in maintaining or improving mental health. Louv calls nature the ultimate antidepressant. Nature offers more benefits than just physical exercise. Even though nature is full of gyms and can give a person a better workout than machines. For instance, machines are made to make running easier when in nature the ground is uneven and works every muscle in your leg. Louv argues that humans are one with nature and it is unnatural for us to separate from nature. He says is we continue to crowd de-natured cities it will contribute to our incline of metal illness. For example, if you observe animals when they are deprived of their natural habitat they become aggressive, their parenting patterns are disrupted, and their social hierarchies are disrupted. Louv emphasizes how nature is everywhere and it is vital to bring it back into our lives. Even if you live in an urban environment in the center of the city, you can find nature. By teaching yourself to look for nature whether it be the sky, a tree, a little plant, a person can connect with nature even if it is only a small area.

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    • 5 points. It’s true that the human animals is the most egregious when it comes to uncontrolled aggressiveness, disrupted parenting, and disrupted social hierarchies. There has to be a connection with the disconnection from nature, which throughout history many have seen as important to *elevate* humans.

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  3. Louv has a style of writing that is easy to understand while having still having a deep message. The main point from these 5 chapters is that nature does much more for us then we realize. Since we have grown so far apart from nature due to technology we have been changing as individuals. One point Louv elaborates on is that nature is therapeutic. Nature can actually boost our immune system. This reminds me of when I was a kid running around ad getting dirty. I was exposing myself to many different germs and bacteria which my immune system learned to fight against. Kids these days are going to have weak immune systems because they spend most of their time inside staring at a screen.
    Another point in which Louv makes is that nature literally makes you healthier through vitamin N. Just by being in nature our physical and mental health are better off then sitting inside. He argues that we are all one with nature or nature is within all of us so by surrounding ourselves in nature we will become more creative, healthier, and happier. This doesn’t mean that you have to sit outside 24/7 but if you can just focus on nature, even from a window, it calms our nerves and thoughts which leaves us better off.

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  4. In chapters 5-10, Louv starts off and focuses on talking about how nature is a form of self-therapy and how it can be quite beneficial to us, humans. Louv provides a number of scenarios and experiments researchers have performed to prove that nature helps in the healing process of patients. For example, he talks about the experiment where the researchers had two groups of people, one which took a walk in the outdoors, surrounded by nature and the other group who took a walk in an indoor shopping mall. They found out that the group, which took a walk outdoors, had a significant increase in self-esteem and decrease in stress and depression levels. This shows that what Louv is trying to say about nature is completely true. Also, not only does nature give humans better exercise methods and benefits, but it furthermore provides us with what Louv refers back to, which he calls Vitamin N. Later on, Louv explains another form of benefit humans tend to get from nature. When some older people are experienced more to nature, they say, they don’t feel old anymore, nature actually brings out and reminds them of their young days when they used to spend so much time in nature. By relying more on nature and benefitting from what it has to give, we, as humans, can definitely learn to live better lives.

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  5. I find it funny how Louv tries to “sell” the reader nature, trying to prove that it helps making your mind and body ‘lighter’ and healthier. I believe a person just needs to go outside and interact, observe nature, breathing clean air to obtain all of its benefits.
    On chapter 5 Louv talks about nature helping people as an anti-depression. I totally agree with it and I also believe that kids do better at the beginning of the school year (at least me, in Iowa) because it is when nature is not dead yet and it’s not too cold outside. This was my first year in Iowa and I believe I did better in school and was more active during the beginning of fall semester and the end of the spring semester. Louv talks about this when he cites a study that found out that people in communities that don’t offer green spaces are usually more aggressive, and the environment is dirtier than communities that do.
    I also found it interesting when Louv was talking about San Diego. He says that he lived there for many years but didn’t truly know the region’s biodiversity at all. Here in Iowa City I notice it a lot on my friends when I mention the city park or the reservoir up in North Liberty. The fact that they’ve never been to naturally beautiful places bothered me and one of my friends, who decided to take others up there and enjoy a good time in nature.

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    • 5 points. I hope your friends continue to visit our beautiful natural places! You’re right in the beginning of your blog post that it almost seems silly that we need a book to tell people that going outside is good for you.

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